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Iran Denies Presence Of Al-Qaeda Operatives In Country

Iran has denied recent U.S. accusations that three Al-Qaeda operatives were in Iran, helping the Islamist militant group with finance and logistics across the Middle East.

The U.S. Treasury on July 20 announced sanctions against what it said were three senior Al-Qaeda operatives were based in Iran.

But Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi said on July 26 that Iran does not have any information regarding their presence on its territory.

"The U.S. administration, instead of issuing general statements, should in practice enable a coordinated international fight against terrorist groups by sharing precise information," Ghasemi was quoted as saying by the official government news agency IRNA.

"Iran continues its strong determination in fighting terrorist groups," he added.

The U.S. Treasury named the three alleged operatives as Faisal Jassim Mohammed al-Amri al-Khalidi, a 31-year-old Saudi national, Yisra Muhammad Ibrahim Bayumi, 48, an Egyptian national, and Abu Bakr Muhammad Muhammad Ghumayn, a 35-year-old Algerian.

Iran has held several Al-Qaeda members, both high-ranking and lower-level, in prison since the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington, though U.S. officials say the precise conditions of their confinement are unclear.

Based on reporting by IRNA and AFP